CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Fairmont State got past Alderson-Broaddus in overtime, 75-74, to advance to the WVIAC Tournament Championship on Saturday afternoon at the Charleston Civic Center. Isaac Thornton hit a free throw with .9 seconds remaining and an A-B desperation three wouldn’t fall to wrap up the FSU victory.
The Falcons will face the winner of the West Liberty-Alderson Broaddus game on Saturday afternoon; tip is set for 3:30 p.m.
FSU (22-7) was led by 19 points and seven rebounds from Brendan Cooper. Malik Stith went 7-of-9 from the field with 17 points for the Falcons. Thornton also reached double figures with 14 points and five assists for FSU. Chase Morgan hit a trio of three-pointers to provide a spark off the FSU bench.
A-B (20-9) got a team-high 15 points on 4-of-7 from three. Adam Kline recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Kurklin Bohanon and Malcolm Tatum each scored 12 and Roy Brown added 10 for the Battlers. Tatum recorded a team-high five assists.
The Battlers shot 48 percent from the floor and out-rebounded the Falcons (45-30) in the losing effort. FSU shot 42 percent and forced 17 A-B turnovers in the victory. The Falcons held a 17-7 advantage on the fast break and 15-11 advantage in bench scoring.
With FSU leading 20-19 with 9:20 remaining in the opening half, the Falcons ended the half on a 14-6 run including a three by Chase Morgan with 40 second remaining and a put-back by Rudy Roberts as time expired to go into the locker room with a 34-25 advantage.
The Falcons built their nine point halftime lead despite early foul trouble for Stith, Thornton and Hill. Fairmont State shot 43 percent from the floor and went 5-of-11 from behind-the-arc in the opening half. Alderson-Broaddus shot 32 percent from the floor; however they held a 25-13 advantage on the glass. A-B pulled down 15 offensive rebounds in the opening half. Brendan Cooper led all scorers with nine points in the half.
The Battlers battled back from a 12-point deficit early in the second half to take their first lead of the game at 62-61 with 2:04 remaining in regulation after a three-pointer from Ainslie. The Falcons regained the lead with just 49 second remaining after a Thornton layup on the fast-break to give the Falcons a 63-62 advantage. Kline was fouled at the opposite end and hit 1-of-2 from the line to tie the game up once again with 38 seconds to play. Both teams had unsuccessful chances to take the lead in the closing second and regulation ended with a 63-63 tie.
The Battlers jumped out to an early 67-63 advantage in the first two minutes of overtime. Morgan would respond for the Falcons with a deep three to cut the A-B lead to just one point with 2:49 to play. Richard Lemon put the Battler back up by three after a tip-in on the offensive glass. Stith tied the game after completing a tradition three-point play for the Falcons with 1:08 remain in overtime.
After a defensive stop by the Falcons, Thornton went to the line and gave the Falcons two-point lead with 30 seconds remaining. Tatum was fouled on a made layup and had the opportunity to give the Battlers the lead seven seconds remaining. Tatum's shot was no good and Thornton was fouled on his way to the rim in the closing second. Thornton hit 1-of-2 from the line to give the Falcons the lead with .9 seconds remaining. The desperation heave by A-B hit the rim and bounced out and the Falcons picked up the 75-74 victory.